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Jim Berry and Capt. Al-hab and the biggun that didn't get away!

    Today my fishin buddies were Jim Berry and Al who is visiting from up north and had to catch a plane back home on April first. Jim is a local airline pilot and restaurateur who owns his own boat, but, with it in the shop and no way to get it out in time to get Al offshore he called me to get them out. The mission today was a full day offshore, have some good times a shot at a cobia and put some meat on the table. Since it was just Jim and Al Jim said it would be ok if I asked a buddy of mine to tag along to help out as my mate so I asked my bud Mason to accompany us.
   We departed my house at 6:30 AM, grabbed a little fuel at Sunrise Marina and a box of sardines and off we went into a two to three foot sea and an overcast and rainy looking sky. Not ideal cobia weather! Our first stop was at the Benson reef to pick up a little bait on chicken rigs and in the process Al managed a "double" of keeper triggers and during the struggle it was hilarious in that I kept kidding him that I'd never let a baitfish do that to me. We had to anchor up since there was a two knot current running on the Benson and you'd be on and off the bait so fast the only way to stay on them was to anchor.
    Next stop was the Vera Cruz wreck for some live sardines and cigar minnows and hopefully a shot at a cobia, however the current here was blazing at two and a half knots. We moved on to my snapper hole and anchored up in the two knot current and began the task of yankin and crankin a bunch of short snapper to work on our limit. I can't tell you how many 19 3/4 inch snapper we released but it had to be around 30 or so. While fishing for snapper I usually put out a float line with a livie and this time it paid off BIG! with a kingfish of a lifetime for Al who quickly gained the nickname of Capt. AL-HAB. He battled this monster king from an anchored boat for about 30 minutes on 15# spin tackle with a two foot leader of 40# flourocarbon leader and a stinger of 40# sevenstrand with a Daiichi #4 4X bleeding bait treble with a 1/0 bait hook to hook the bait with. We knew all along that it was a good fish and prayed that the rig intended for schoolie kings would hold. Al did a fine job with the stick and the rest is history. His fish weighed in at a whopping 44.8 pounds, definitely a notable catch on 15# spin!
    With the wind freshening and the seas building we pulled the hook at 5:30 PM and although the 3-4 ft seas, 15 to 20 knot wind, and whitecaps on our port bow made for a wet ride we were able to cruise at 28 knots back to the port with our mission accomplished except for the cobia.

Final tally for the day:
5 Keeper Snapper with at least 30 others released for being under size.
1 44.8 pound Kingfish
3 Triggerfish
A bunch of Atlantic Sharpnose Sharks released.

What the heck is on this thing and why does he keep smokin my reel?

Damn he's doing it again!

Now THIS is a Kingfish!

Takes two to handle this 44.8# whopper!

Not a bad day after all, Snapper, Triggers and a mogan Kingfish!

Lets get the snapper filleted and the monster King off to the smokehouse!